With four more positive cases reported in Assam on Wednesday, the total number of confirmed Wuhan coronavirus cases in the state goes up from 0 to 5 in less than 24 hours. These four new positive cases were all reported to be Tablighi Jamaat attendees as the Nizamuddin Markaz emerges as a hotspot for COVID-19.
“All four were in Markaz, attended Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi,” confirmed Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, also stating that the cases in the state “may cross double-digits by evening.”
Addressing a press meet in Guwahati, health minister Sarma said that in addition to the first patient at Silchar Medical College and Hospital, four more people have been tested positive for Coronavirus at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).
Total 5 #COVID19 positive cases have been reported in Assam – 1 shifted to Silchar Medical College and Hospital and 4 to Gauhati Medical College in Guwahati: Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma pic.twitter.com/2pIo9scs4a— ANI (@ANI) April 1, 2020
The State health minister furthered that the centre has provided the state government with a list of 547 people on Tuesday, out of which 134 were in the Nizamuddin area but not in Tablighi Jamaat event. He added that 68 people had stayed back in Delhi and 4 of them tested positive in the National Capital itself. “347 are back in Assam but did not get themselves quarantined. Out of 347, 230 have been traced overnight and samples are being collected. However, 117 are yet to be traced, added Sharma.
After dozens of country-wide COVID-19 positive cases have been traced back to the Tablighi Jamaat, the authorities have started a massive nation-wide manhunt to trace all the attendees who had participated so that they could be quarantined and their contact tracing could be established. Many of the foreign nationals who had attended the event were found ‘hiding’ in mosques at various parts of the country.
The recent gathering of as many as 3,500 people at a religious conference at Nizamuddin in the national capital is threatening to turn the area into the biggest COVID-19 hotspot in the country as it is triggering a tide of infections in several states.
The central and state governments now face the challenge of pan-India contact tracing and containment as thousands of participants at the March 13-15 event at Nizamuddin’s Banglewali Masjid have been exposed to those who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Coronavirus positive cases in India has risen sharply to 1,637, according to the health ministry website. A jump of 386 cases in merely 24 hours. The death toll currently stands at 38.